My church’s worship service follows a certain pattern, also called liturgy – which is interesting because I’m very sure that 10 years ago I would have insisted that such a thing was boring and stilted.
But a few years ago, I found my church home there and I find such a peace and comfort in the not just the rhythm of the worship – but also the reasons behind the rhythm.
Some sections of the service spoke to me this past Sunday:
- Bidding to Confession
- The Comfortable Words
During “Absolution” there is a brief declaration by the service leader that we are absolved of our sins. Why can he make such a bold statement?
Because first the Deacon made a statement encouraging us to confess in our hearts and repent of our sins. Then corporately as a church we make our confession. And ideally, in our hearts this is an earnest and sincere repentance.
Then comes the Absolution!
There’s totally a drum roll in my head – even though my quiet, serious church probably wouldn’t have drums at this time.
The service leader declares this absolution because it is promised in the Word of God that we have forgiveness of our sins when we sincerely repent and turn to God in true faith.
What follows after this absolution is the section called, “The Comfortable Words”. What a strange title, right? What types of words are “comfortable”? We really don’t use that type of language in regular speech. “The Comfortable Words” are the scriptural statements that reinforces the basis of the absolution.
We can be comforted with these words because they are the basis of our faith. They are the bold declaration of God’s promises for us. With that understanding of the purpose of “The Comfortable Words”, I realized two things:
- I was immensely comforted and assured by hearing a scripture read aloud for the express purpose of reminding me of God’s forgiveness and love for me.
- I didn’t need to wait for a particular church service or a particular time in a church service to hear them.
The “Comfortable Words” that were read this past Sunday were:
Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. (Matthew 11:28)
What “Comfortable Words” do you or your loved ones need to hear today? How can you even know?
By spending time in the Word and knowing what God’s promises are for you. This gives you a wealth of comfort to drawn on when times are hard, or stressful or lean.
May you enter into His rest today!